Dr. Gohar Ejaz, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries, and Production, has announced that Pakistan is expected to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during an upcoming visit by a delegation from the UAE in late September.
UAE holds a crucial position in Pakistan’s trade landscape, ranking as the third-largest trading partner after China and the United States.
This agreement is highly anticipated because of the UAE’s strategic location near Pakistan, which reduces transportation costs, making it an attractive export destination.
Additionally, UAE is home to approximately 1.8 million Pakistani expatriates, making it the second-largest source of remittances for Pakistan after Saudi Arabia.
The visit of the Emirati delegation in September will primarily focus on trade, investment, and economic matters, with the aim of finalizing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Pakistan and the UAE.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, expressed optimism about signing the agreement during this visit, despite ongoing negotiations on certain issues.
UAE has previously signed FTAs with around nine countries and has been actively collaborating with Pakistan on this agreement. The successful signing of CEPA is expected to lead to reduced trade tariffs, potentially boosting Pakistan’s income and revenue.
Bilateral trade between the two nations has already increased by 24 percent from the previous year, and CEPA is expected to further enhance Pakistan’s market access in the UAE across various sectors, including food, pharmaceuticals, and tourism.